View synonyms for heartrending


[ hahrt-ren-ding ]


  1. causing or expressing intense grief, anguish, or distress.

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Other Words From

  • heartrending·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of heartrending1

First recorded in 1680–90; heart + rending ( def )

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Example Sentences

Convinced that it had to be a physical disorder, she wrote to doctors and, in heartrending precision, appealed to them for diagnosis and treatment, which of course they could not provide.

From Time

The most heartrending threat to the seeds was the citizens of Leningrad themselves.

In Oxyana, the performances he summons from his interview subjects are truly heartrending.

Clearly, the voters were rewarding his heartrending performance of “ I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

At the Eichmann trial, concentration camp survivors supplied heartrending testimony.

As she twisted his great red ear, the agonized cries of Johnny became heartrending.

The unfortunate sufferers presented a heartrending picture, worthy of the painter of the Deluge.

She spent days in worshipping the small divinity of his person, and in the contemplation of his heartrending human attributes.

This was really heartrending when the difference in fare for three persons would be at least twenty dollars.

I saw none of those heartrending tragic scenes of parting, none of the wild grief that grows so much wilder for being indulged.





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